Summer Studies Program

For more than 22 years now, USINDO with the generous support of the Freeman Foundation has held the USINDO Summer Studies Program. This is an intensive ten-week language and cultural studies program held from May to August, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is open to U.S. university juniors or seniors, currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, as well as recent graduates (within 6 months) of any U.S. college or university. Participants are selected in a competitive application process.

The 2018 Summer Studies program will begin on May 24 and end on August 2, 2018, including a 10-day term break to accommodate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

In addition to the language course, field trips, cultural programs, and volunteer work opportunities with local organizations in Yogyakarta, the program also includes a post-program event in Jakarta that is designed to broaden the students’ perspective, knowledge, and exposure to contemporary issues facing Indonesia, while also giving them the opportunity to network with government officials, experts, academics, NGOs and private sector.

The 2018 Summer Studies Program Applications are available for download HERE. In addition to completing the application form, students are required to submit a 1-page personal statement, resume, transcript(s), and one letter of recommendation. For complete information on the program, please read below or download the information sheet HERE.

USINDO accepts applications all year long. Applications and required documents must be received by USINDO no later than February 8, 2018 to be considered for the Summer 2018 intake. Applicants will be notified of the decisions on February 15, 2018. Additional questions can be directed to and




The 2017 Summer Studies Participants


For stories and articles of our past Summer Studies Fellows please click here.

Photos of the 2017 USINDO Summer Studies Program can be accessed here.

Photos of the 2016 USINDO Summer Studies Program can be accessed here or here.

Photos of the 2015 USINDO Summer Studies Program can be accessed here


Application Documents

All of the following application documents must be submitted via email to and

  • Application form: Please submit a completed and signed application form, available here
  • Personal statement: Please submit a one (1) page personal statement describing your academic interests, career goals, interest in Indonesia, and how your participation in this program will enhance those interests and goals, as well as how your career might further the mission of the Society to promote more awareness of Indonesia in the United States.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume: Please submit a curriculum vitae or resume (not to exceed 10 pages).
  • Academic transcript(s): Please submit the latest academic transcript from the educational institution where you are currently enrolled or recently graduated from.
  • Letter of recommendation: One (1) recommendation letter is required. Recommenders must submit the letter of recommendation directly to Applicants are responsible for ensuring their applications are submitted on time. Only complete applications will be considered.
  • Tax Return Transcript (for scholarship applicants only): The electronic copy of the transcript should be from the most recent year filed, and can be either the student’s or their parents’ (if the student is still a dependent).



The program fee covers the following expenses of the program including return international and domestic air ticket, tuition, cultural program, field trip, special lecture, accommodation, two meals per day, visa, and travel insurance. Each student pays a fee of $2,000 toward these program costs, and the USINDO Summer Studies Program provides the substantial remainder of these program costs. All other incidentals are the responsibility of the student.



We are accepting applications all year long. Applications and required documents must be received by USINDO no later than February 8, 2018 to be considered for the Summer 2018 intake. Applicants will be notified of the decisions on February 15, 2018.



Applicants must be U.S. citizens, aged 18-30 years old, and university juniors or seniors, currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree program. They may also be recent graduates (within 6 months) of any accredited U.S. college or university.

Logistical Arrangements


USINDO purchases roundtrip air tickets to Yogyakarta for students from any city in the U.S. Travel arrangements are made by USINDO.


USINDO will process the student visas at the Embassy of Indonesia in Washington, DC.

Students MUST possess a passport that is valid at least until December (of the program year), AND must have at least four blank visa pages in their passport.

Travel Insurance

USINDO purchases travel insurance and will pay for the premium for the duration of the program.

Students will be responsible for any deductible payments (if any).

Yogyakarta Orientation

The program will begin with a three-day orientation in Yogyakarta, where participants will be introduced to the local committee, their language tutors from ILCIC Sanata Dharma University, as well as their host families. The participants will attend various sessions designed to enable them to create a richer and meaningful experience during their stay in Yogyakarta. These include Cross-Cultural Understanding session which will help students gain a comprehensive understanding of the cultural differences between Indonesian and American Culture, as well as an ‘Amazing Race’ challenge which will help familiarize students with key places in Yogyakarta in a fun and interactive way. The program ends with the students moving in to each host family.


The language component of USINDO’s Summer Studies Program is conducted in partnership with the Indonesian Language and Culture Intensive Course (ILCIC) housed at Sanata Dharma University. ILCIC has had extensive experience in conducting Bahasa Indonesia teaching programs for foreign university students and its location in the heart of Yogyakarta allows Summer Studies students to interact directly with Indonesian students and locals in its lively campus atmosphere.

The program typically offers two class levels: beginner and intermediate. However, USINDO also accommodates participants wishing to learn at the advanced level as well. Typical class schedule is held Tuesday – Friday and covers the essentials of Indonesian vocabulary, grammar, and cultural contexts through interactive speaking, reading, writing, and listening exercises. Students also practice twice a week after regular classes with Indonesian tutors who are students in Yogyakarta. Such tutoring provides the opportunity to both the Indonesian and American students to engage at an informal level, to ask questions, and to develop friendships; many Summer Studies alumni have maintained these bonds long after participating in the program.


Practicum Period

During the mid-week of June (June 14 – 21, 2018), a one week mid-term break will be given to accommodate the Eid holiday. During this time, students will have a week break from classes and workshops. Students are allowed to travel within Indonesia during this time to conduct research or for leisure. However, students are required to inform the local program coordinator as well as their host families of their travel plans. Students are also responsible for their own travel arrangements and costs during the practicum period.


Students will live with host families throughout their stay in Indonesia. The host family experience is intended to reinforce language studies during the day, and to give students the real experience of living with an Indonesian family. Indonesians are hospitable, welcoming people. Strong emphasis is placed on the importance of the family unit. By welcoming American students into their homes, host families welcome them to their daily routine and often invite them to participate as family members in significant events such as weddings. Significantly, the experience allows acquaintances and extended family of the host family to have exposure to young, educated Americans interested in Indonesia and willing to engage.

Cultural Workshops

Students are able to get firsthand experience of Indonesian culture through various cultural workshops, including: gamelan (traditional musical ensemble), batik (textile dyeing technique), traditional dancing, and cooking classes focusing on Indonesian cuisine.

Special Lectures

Special Lectures will be held on a bi-weekly basis to introduce students to discussions of topics in various fields, including politics, history, culture, religion, and economics with an emphasis on current issues, such as good governance, interfaith relations, economy outlook, and Indonesia contemporary politics. The selection of topics will also consider the participating students’ fields of study and general interests. Speakers may come from prominent leaders in the Indonesian private sector, government officials, scholars, non-government sector, and media.


USINDO first introduced the volunteering component in its 2015 Summer Studies Program, and it has been regarded as an important component that gives students the added value of interacting directly with Indonesians outside of their classroom setting. The students will have the option of choosing their places of volunteering according to their personal interests and goals, and based on a networking event to match participants with potential host institutions. Students will have the chance to volunteer in a variety of local organizations, ranging from notable retail businesses, local NGOs as well as think tanks. The volunteering activity will be done on each Monday of the week.

Students who do not wish to take part in a volunteering activity will have the option of conducting an independent study/research about Indonesia. However, this only applies for Ph.D. or Master’s students who already have specific research topic that they are currently working on in relation to Indonesia. Through this research project, students will be required to interview 10-15 Indonesian locals as part of their data-gathering process, and submit their research findings at the end of the program. This is not compulsory, but whenever possible, students could identify their in-country research supervisors.

Field Trips

USINDO organizes a variety of field trips to renowned cultural and historical monuments/sites, as well as visits to local organizations in Yogyakarta. These trips are designed to allow the students to learn about and experience firsthand Yogyakarta’s unique culture, history, tradition, belief system and natural wonders. Previous field trips have included the famous Merapi Lava Tour, as well as visits to the Imogiri Royal Cemetery, Ngalenggeran Beach, Candi Borobudur, and a variety of other famous sites in and around Yogyakarta.

Jakarta Post-Program Event

Upon completion of the language classes in Yogyakarta, students will participate in a post-program event in Jakarta, held from July 30 – August 1, 2018. This is the culmination of the Summer Studies Program that is designed to broaden the students’ perspective, knowledge, and exposure to contemporary issues facing Indonesia, while also giving them the opportunity to network with government officials, experts, academics, NGOs and private sector. Past Summer Studies participants have had the chance to meet with distinguished figures such as Indonesia’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia’s Deputy Speaker of the House, as well as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President. USINDO will also organize trips to renowned historical sites within the capital, such as the Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Cathedral, Museum of National History, the National Monument, and many more.

Past Program Images